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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Car Buying Mistakes to Avoid

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  WALL STREET CHEAT SHEET

 

Vehicles can convey status, personality, or even individuality with the decorations we place on them. When we see a person driving a mini-van covered in bumper stickers that read “my child earned the honor roll at School Hall elementary,” it’s relatively easy to note that vehicle more than likely belongs to a parent, and one who is proud of her children’s achievements. Or, when we see a nicely-dressed person driving a $100,000 car, we peg that individual as wealthy.

Buying a new car — or new used car — is exciting. It’s a time when you can change the image that came along with your old vehicle, and it’s also a time when you can shop for the state of the art features and technology that may not have been on the market when you purchased your last vehicle. For those who drive a “beater,” buying a new car is especially exciting, as a smooth ride, well-functioning systems, and comfort may not have been present in you old car. Some people look forward to simply having a car that won’t break down periodically.

In the midst of all of the excitement, people make mistakes when buying a car. We scoured the internet and spoke to a few dealerships to find out some of these mistakes, and how to avoid them.

Failing to evaluate your personal budget and finances

Before you even walk into the dealership, you should examine your budget with a fine-toothed comb. Find out exactly how much you can afford to spend on a vehicle payment, warranties and extras, insurance (including gap insurance), and your max budget for the total price of the vehicle. The worst thing you can do is base your vehicle’s price and payment amount on the advice of the dealership, and what they will approve you for.

If you intend on trading in a vehicle, know your car’s appraisal value prior to visiting the dealership and also, know the exact amounts (if any) that you owe on your previous vehicle loan. There are a variety of websites that will provide you with an estimated appraisal amount in a matter of a few moments. “Be sure to print out the details and bring them with you to the dealership. If you don’t think you’re getting a fair deal, you might be better off selling the car on your own, either to a private party or to the used-car superstore CarMax,” suggests Edmunds.com.

Inadequate research

Data published by Dealer Refresh indicate that 83% of people conduct online research prior to buying a car. Sites like KBB.comTruecar.com, and CarFax.com provide essential information you need to know about a vehicle before you buy, like its blue book value, its history, and reviews from otherconsumers.

Although the vast majority of people use these resources to their advantage, there is still a portion of car-buyers — 17% — who do not use these resources. The National Automobile Dealers Association reports that in September, there were around 1.2 million light vehicle sales. If the purchasers of these vehicles followed the same patterns — over 200,000 of them failed to perform this online research.

Lastly, take some time to review the online inventory at several dealerships. It’ll increase your knowledge of competitor pricing and also narrow your search significantly.

Being overeager — impulse buying

When you see that beautiful SUV, with the back-up camera, upgraded sound system, and leather interior, it’s really hard not to fall in love. But, it’s better to take your time to find the right car than rush into an impulse buy. A car is a serious purchase, and second to a home, it’s often the largest purchase people make.

With such a large purchase, it’s essential that you make a decision with a level head. If you feel overly eager to get out your checkbook and drive away in the floor model, it’s probably best to leave the dealership and come back another day. Ideally, you should shop around at several dealerships before you make a purchasing decision anyway.

Failing to consider the options

The people who walk into the dealership, pick a car, sign the papers, and let the dealership staff lead the transaction often end up spending more than they wanted to. Enter each dealership prepared. If possible, obtain pre-approval from a bank or credit union so that the dealership has to compete with those rates if they want to finance you for a vehicle. If they can’t compete, obtain the loan from your credit union or bank. Having that option provides you with the upper hand.

Also, contact your insurance company, as well as some other insurance companies, prior to shopping. Try and find out the estimated cost to insure your top picks so you can factor insurance costs into your decision making process. It’s also prudent to find out if your insurance company provides gapinsurance coverage and if so, how much it costs. This way, when the finance office offers you gap coverage, you can make an informed decision.

Finally, give yourself some wiggle room. Save enough of a down payment to be able to decide how much you want to put down, instead of being in a situation where you barely have enough to cover a down payment.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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Updated 2016 Acura ILX will Debut At Los Angeles Auto Show

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS

 

Acura had high hopes for its newest gateway vehicle, the ILX compact sedan, which was introduced at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The idea behind its creation seemed logical enough: by basing an Acura model on the Honda Civic, the automaker could lower the price of entry and attract a younger, hipper audience to the brand.

 

What the automaker didn’t count on was the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Audi entering the segment with compact sedans of their own, priced just a couple of grand higher than the ILX. Acura attempted to tempt buyers with a few sweeteners for 2014 but now a much more substantial update is coming.

 

Yes, Acura has confirmed that for the 2016 model year the ILX will receive some styling updates, a new powertrain and a substantially upgraded interior. Acura also released this teaser image of its 2016 ILX, which shows new graphics and clear lenses for the tail-lights.

 

The ILX currently offers the choice of 2.0- or 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engines. A hybrid option was available at launch but dropped for the 2015 model year.

 

We’ll get our first look at the updated car at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, which commences November 18.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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The First Porsche was Electric!

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS

 

 

The world’s very first Porsche was uncovered in remarkably good condition — in a shed in Austria (via The Atlantic Cities).

 

The act of automotive archaeology took place in January.

 

The “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model,” or P1 for short, was designed and built by Ferdinand Porsche himself, first hitting the streets of Vienna on June 26, 1898.

 

A little over a year later, in September 1899, Porsche demonstrated the power of his new model with a first-place finish at the  International Motor Vehicle Exhibition in Berlin. His new car finished 18 minutes ahead of the second-best competitor, with half of the vehicles failing to complete the race due to technical difficulties.

 

According to USA Today, the P1 was stored in an old shed in 1902.

 

Though it may look a lot like a horse-drawn carriage, the P1 was an electric car.  Its “octagon” motor could travel up to 50 miles at a time, hitting a maximum speed of about 22 miles per hour.  According to Porsche, the engine could deliver 3 horsepower during usual performance with bursts of up to 5 horsepower as it reached its maximum speed.

 

The entire vehicle weighed some 3,000 pounds and relied on more than 1,000 pounds of battery.

 

porsche p1

 

The original wood and metal frame remains, which includes the steering wheel and a dashboard measuring voltage and amperage.

 


porsche p1

 

Porsche engraved “P1″ (Porsche number 1) on all of the vehicle’s essential parts, subtly taking credit for the design and giving it its unofficial name. You can just make out a P1 in the center of the axle below.

 

porsche p1

 

The P1 is now be on display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Blue translucent plastic was inserted to give visitors a better idea of what the car’s original seating would have looked like, though the bright color may be a bit deceiving.

 


porsche p1 exhibition

 

Photos Courtesy of Porsche

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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Tesla’s Cheapest New Car – The Model 3

REPOSTED BY  MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS – AUTO   FROM:  THE HUFFINGTON POST

 

Tesla’s much-anticipated somewhat affordable electric car will be called the Model 3.

 

The electric carmaker hopes to start selling the smaller, cheaper offering by early 2017, CEO Elon Musk said in an interview published late Tuesday night by British car magazine Auto Express.

 

The car will cost around $35,000, about half as much as its top-rated Model S, making the car about as expensive as lower-end Lexus sedans, mid-range Hondas and the Chevrolet Volt.

 

“I can confirm that the next vehicle Tesla will produce after Model X will be a mass-market electric car known as Model 3,” Liz Jarvis-Shean, a Tesla spokesman, told The Huffington Post Wednesday. “We don’t have any more details to share at this point.”

 

Auto Express provided HuffPost with mock-up renderings of the car, which Musk said would be unveiled in 2016:

 

Known for months as the Model E, it became fodder for salacious headlines as the car would have finished off an erotic acronym alongside models S and X. In June, Ford sued Tesla to prevent it from using the name.

 

“I thought this is crazy, Ford’s trying to kill sex,” Musk said. “So we’ll have to think of another name.”

 

But the company wiggled “SEX” back into the picture.

 

“The new model is going to be called the Model 3,” he added, “We’ll have three bars to represent it and it’ll be S III X!”

tesla model 3

The Model 3 will be Tesla’s third generation battery-powered electric car. During a meeting last March with the California Public Utilities Commission, Musk revealed that the car and its battery would be 20 percent smaller and could go 200 miles on a single charge. He said it would be half the price of the $71,000 Model S.

 

“In order to achieve that, you better reduce the cost of the battery,” Musk is seen saying in a video that surfaced on YouTube of the meeting. “Since the car is 20 percent smaller, you’ve got to get a 50 percent reduction.”

 

Tesla’s “gigafactory” should help to cut costs. By 2020, the company expects the battery assembly plant to produce more lithium-ion packs in a year than were created in the entire world last year.

 

But the car could still get stuck in the Silicon Valley company’s pipeline traffic jam.

 

It’s behind the already-delayed Model X, an SUV-crossover, which will go into production next year, a Tesla executive told HuffPost last month. Buyers have already paid about up to $5,000 to reserve the cars.

 

“We don’t like to carry inventory,” Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla’s vice president of business development, told HuffPost at the time. “We’ll be delivering as soon as we produce.”

 

Until then, the Model 3 — which was supposed to debut in 2015 — is a back-burner priority.

 

“Our focus continues to be on Model S and preparing for the introduction of Model X,” Jarvis-Shean said.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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RECALL – 1.6 Million BMW’s for Airbag Concerns

REPOSTED BY  MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS – AUTO   FROM:  CNN MONEY

BMW Group is recalling 1.6 million of its popular 3 Series vehicles, making it the latest global automaker to issue a massive recall based on concerns over safety.

Last month the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said seven automakers — BMW, Honda (HMC), Nissan (NSANF), Toyota (TM), Mazda (MZDAF), Chrysler andFord (F) – would be recalling vehicles to fix a possible safety defect in air bag inflators built by the Japanese firm, Takata.

 

Thousands of GM (GM) vehicles have also been recalled over similar Takata-built airbag problems.

 

The recall affects BMW cars manufactured between mid-1999 and mid-2006. The company said roughly 574,000 cars could be recalled in the U.S.

 

This follows a NHTSA investigation into six reports of airbag inflator ruptures that occurred in other vehicles, all of which happened in Florida and Puerto Rico. High levels of humidity are believed to contribute to the airbag problem. Over 7.9 million vehicles have been recalled globally due to the problem.

 

BMW said it had not received any reports about problems with its airbags.

 

Including an earlier announcement, BMW has now recalled about 1.8 million 3 Series vehicles over these airbag issues. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda have also recalled millions of vehicles related to issues with the Takata-made airbag inflators.

Takata said last month it would work with the automakers to replace the problematic parts in Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands — places that are known to have high humidity.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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How to Get the Most for Your Trade-In Vehicle

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  LA  TIMES

 

 

 

The best advice about trading in your car is to avoid it.

 

You’ll always get more money selling it on your own, sometimes thousands more.

 

A quick tour of Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com used-car valuation service shows you why. Take a 2010 Honda Accord EX sedan in “very good” condition with 50,000 miles on the odometer and see what it is worth.

 

Kelley says that the trade-in value is $13,054 and that it would sell to a private party for $14,549. That’s a $1,500 difference, but the gap could be bigger because many dealers don’t offer the full Kelley Blue Book trade-in value. They try to buy at low wholesale and sell at the top retail price.

 

Trading in a car also complicates the purchase of a new car, giving the dealer an opening to inject more profit into the deal by low-balling your car. It’s also much easier for a buyer to negotiate one transaction — a car purchase — rather than adding a second transaction into the deal.

 

But we understand some people don’t want the hassle of selling a car themselves. It means advertising the vehicle, letting strangers drive it, negotiating the price and sometimes accepting thousands in cash. If the car is expensive, you might have to wait for a buyer to get a loan. There’s also transfer paperwork to handle.

 

So if you’re going to trade in your car, take some basic steps to ensure you get a fair deal.

 

First, nail down the price for your new car before discussing the price for your trade.

 

Many dealers prefer to negotiate both prices at the same time, leaving them an opening to play the deals off each other. If you insist on getting more for your trade — or simply a fair price — the dealer may try to charge you more for the new car. Or vice versa: If you insist on a great deal for the new car, they’ll try to knock down your trade-in price.

 

You’re under no obligation to tell the dealer you have a trade until you’ve agreed on the new-car price. If they ask, simply insist that you won’t talk about the price of the trade-in until you’ve come to terms on the new purchase.

 

As you negotiate this part of the transaction, you need to start with solid information about what your old car is worth.

 

The easiest way to do this is to take it to the nearest CarMax used-car dealer. CarMax is the biggest seller of used cars in the U.S. and has more than 120 stores spread nationwide. The company will evaluate your car for free and make you an offer that is good for seven days. It will also identify any major problems that could hurt your car’s value.

 

Use the CarMax price as the lower limit for what you will accept from the dealer. It also gives you a second potential buyer. If the dealer insists on low-balling you, you can always just sell the car to CarMax.

 

Kelley Blue Book also offers an online service where you can get “instant” offers for your car from dealers. It doesn’t always generate an offer, but it will provide you with a list of dealers that might be interested in buying your car even if you don’t plan to purchase a new vehicle from them.

 

If you can’t get a satisfactory price from either CarMax or the dealer, you can always return to the option of selling it to a private buyer — at a retail price, instead of wholesale. If you’re determined to sell it quickly, price it below retail cars of the same model and year, but still above what CarMax offered. It should get snapped up.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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Who’s the Bargain King – Testing America’s 3 Cheapest New Cars


REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   YAHOO AUTOS/MOTORMIC

 

My life is cheap cars, and cheap cars are my life, especially those with character. So when I was asked to figure out what new car in today’s market is truly the best of the three cheapest new cars available, I decided to focus less on market segments, and more on the long-term qualities of the vehicle.

 

This presented a unique problem; availability. It took weeks to organize this comparison primarily because nearly every inexpensive vehicle available to the media is an automatic, and typically loaded with every option. I contacted the manufacturers, visited enthusiast forums for the specific models, and talked up dealers in order to find that good, cheap car that is truly worth your pennies.

 

I also held firm to one important belief: Manual transmissions always sell for less than automatics these days in everything short of all-out sports cars and off-road vehicles. Fewer folks can drive a stick these days, so, if you want to find the best cheap car in today’s market, you’re gonna have to hit ‘em where they ain’t.

 

To figure out which car would be the best deal for a true tightwad, I also made an extreme assumption. I surmised that a typical cheapskate owner will try to keep his or her car for 15 years and 225,000 miles. This sounds a little crazy, but the average car on the road is now nearly 12 years old. The long-term keepers among us who see cars as a rolling spreadsheet will value the gas-sippers mightily, especially if these high-milers have to endure the miseries of a daily commute.

 

This is what I found:

 

 

The Pretender: 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage is not a bad car. Let me rephrase that. The Mitsubishi Mirage is not thatbad of a car.

 

The exterior is, as you would expect, a love-it or hate-it affair. Some women thought the Mirage was cheerful and cute. Most men thought the Kiwi Green subcompact looked like something between a frog and an insectozoid. I liked the smallness of the package and, after bestowing the name Kermit to my driving companion, I started driving it throughout the small towns of North Georgia.

 

The Mirage does have a few strong pluses, the most surprising of which is space. One of my mechanics who is 6-foot-8 was able to sit comfortably in the back seat. I quickly found that the Mirage’s tall roofline offered the opportunity to fit a lot of items that larger-sized competition would never be able to swallow.

 

The Mirage is also a class leader when it comes to fuel economy. The stick-shift has a slightly notchy feel to it, but this could be an advantage – if you are interested in learning to drive a stick, it would be the easiest of the three. Although the Mirage’s 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine, at 72 hp, trails every new model on the road save the Smart, the Mirage is a good fit for customers who never test a vehicle’s full capability. Just expect to rev the Mirage’s engine a lot more than others.

 

Unfortunately, the Mirage is also not so much of a car as a generic form of wheeled transportation, like those isles of white boxes that every supermarket once offered in favor of fancy goods with brand names.

 

The accommodations are scant to the point of weirdness. The higher-end ES model that I sampled offered all sorts of once-exciting “options” such as alloy wheels, traction control and power mirrors. But it didn’t have features that were in economy cars 20 years ago, such as a center dome light on the headliner or a center armrest. Everywhere you looked, there was evidence of cost containment, from the one tiny cupholder for the entire rear seat, to roll-down windows that you just had to keep applying varying levels of force to get down.

 

The engine was also downright terrible on an upward incline. Forget mountains: the Mirage could get beaten up a hill by kudzu. The fourth gear in most other economy cars was replaced by the aural screaming of a third gear trying to help a little engine that barely could.

 

All that said, city dwellers will have different needs from country folk. If all you truly need is to get from Boring Point A to Boring Point B in the most economical new vehicle possible, the Mirage may truly be your 21st-century Geo Metro. It averaged an impressive 44 miles per gallon during my time with it, and even squeezed out a near-hybrid 50+ miles per gallon while driving through the winding, mostly-flattish roads of small-town America.

 

Was the Mirage the cheapest? No, and this is why: Its miserly fuel consumption comes at a hidden cost, and that cost is maintenance.

 

Buried deep within the maintenance schedule is an unfortunate reality that all three-cylinder car owners must endure: valve adjustments. In the Mirage’s case, this procedure is recommended roughly every 30,000 miles. The owner’s manual asks you to listen for a ticking noise and adjust when needed, “if valve noise increases adjust valve clearance,” which is legal shorthand for, “if you don’t do it and it breaks, too bad.” The cost of this service at the dealership is $299 which, over the course of seven visits, would come to well over $2,000. As a guy who deals with dealers every single day, I don’t see any of them not recommending this service. Sorry.

 

Is the Mirage the cheapest car to own then? It depends on whether you are willing to do your own valve adjustments. At a TrueCar price of $13,345, this entry level Mitsubishi rang up as the second cheapest when it came to purchase price, but it’s just not quite there when it comes to real-world, long-term ownership.

 

The Contender: Nissan Versa S

Loss leaders are both a blessing and a curse in the car business.

 

The good news is that they help make the lower-end of a market segment more competitive. Whether it is Lexus selling the first LS for only $35,000 back when it first came out in 1989, or Nissan shocking the industry with a Versa that sold for only $9,995 five years ago, these cars often times redefine the expectations of car buyers who are looking for an outstanding deal.

 

The problem comes with age. Eventually, the prices for these vehicles move up quickly, to the point when they no longer represent the best deal in the marketplace. That’s what happened with the Nissan Versa. First off, this car has become so rare where I live that I had to drive a near-new, 5,000-mile unit at Carmax before finally getting my hands on a new one that had just arrived at a new car dealership. Apparently, base Versas are an endangered species these days.

 

Second, once I was given the keys, it became apparent that the spunky base Versa I drove five years ago has evolved into a very different car. There is a thinness to nearly every physical aspect of the Versa. The hood, the doors, the cheap black interior panels…the cost-cutting and de-contenting of the base model Versa model is stark, to the point where I wondered whether the car would hold up over time. Consumer Reports recently stated that the customer satisfaction rating for the Versa was the lowest in its price class, and after driving the absolute base model, I understood why.

 

The 1.6-liter, 109-hp engine has an almost guttural sound. And surprisingly, in terms of real-world performance, it offers none of the underpowered, penurious thrust of the 72-horsepower Mirage. You can take on any highway or mountain road with confidence.

Nissan Versa interiorNissan Versa interior

The Versa is also in dire need of more sound-deadening material at highway speeds, and the five-speed stick shift that’s coupled with the anemic 1.6 shaves about 10 percent of the fuel efficiency boasted by the more upscale versions (27 city / 36 mpg highway vs. 30 city and 39 highway). A light foot and the Versa’s low-rolling resistance tires, which are new for 2014, help negate this difference. The Versa closely matched the Mirage’s 44 mpg with a laudable 42 mpg. But the bottom line is that a Versa S makes the trade of pinching pennies up front in exchange for losing more of them as time goes on.

 

Driving around in the base Versa is almost like riding around in an exoskeleton. All of the outlines of a bigger car are there, and the Versa will definitely help you get there in a far more comfortable manner than the Mirage when it comes to highway driving. However, it just doesn’t have any of the upscale touches that would make you want to keep it for the long haul. The audio quality was far worse than the Mirage, the interior carpeting seemed to be painfully thin, and although the amount of interior room is the best in this price class, the inability to fold down the rear seats infringes on the practicality of that design.

 

In person, the Versa S struck me as the engineering for a marketing idea of “the lowest-priced car in America.” It is, but it’s not. The Versa starts with an $11,990 MSRP and an $810 destination charge. However, the Nissan dealers in metro Atlanta have some of the highest documentation processing fees in the marketplace and, overall, the cheapest Versa S that I found ended up being $13,018 according to TrueCar.com at Town Center Nissan in Kennesaw, Ga. The Versa is an overall better deal than the Mirage, and is cheaper to own in the long run. But it’s not the best deal in the entry level market.

 

 

The Cheap Car Winner: 2014 Chevy Sonic

If we were solely to compare apples to apples with comparable sticker prices and features, theChevy Spark would have likely been our final entrant. The sticker price on the base model is only within a few hundred dollars of the Versa, and also within shouting distance of the similarly-equipped Mirage.

 

However, in the real world of car buying, fashions and marketing budgets often trump value. The new, popular car that is heavily advertised is often sold at little-to-no discount, while vehicles that are in the twilight of their model run become the better, quieter alternative.

 

This is what we discovered with the Chevy Sonic. The MSRP of just over $16,018 for the sedan version was whittled down to a TrueCar real-world price of $13,648 at Day’s Chevrolet in Acworth, Ga., while the hatchback version was available for $14,068 at the same dealership.

 

At that price point, the Sonic obliterates the competition by nearly every single measure: interior accommodations, features, safety, fun, and material quality. The 1.8-liter, 138-hp engine powering this sub-$15,000 car is the same exact one that’s in a loaded $25,000 Chevy Cruze, as is the five-speed gearbox which offers a sporting feel that neither the Versa nor the Mirage can approach.

 

The interior is adorned in a tasteful two-tone design with surfaces that are eons better than the hard, thin plastics of the competition. You get six speakers instead of four or two, along with a touch-screen radio system surrounded by dual cubbyholes which can hold everything from an iPhone to wallets large and small. Nearly all the features that were missing in the Versa and Mirage, from the small touch of a comfortable armrest to the big difference of a five-star overall safety rating, were pleasingly standard in the Sonic.

 

There were three areas where the Sonic fell just short of the competition. For one, I recorded a real-world fuel economy number of only 37 mpg for the Sonic. Keep in mind, though, that I have a light foot and live in the ex-urbs. Those with heavier feet and flatter terrain will likely find the Mirage the most forgiving with regard to fuel economy.

 

Secondly, the GM warranty falls short of Mitsubishi in terms of time (five years vs. ten years for the Mirage) while matching it in terms of mileage at 100,000 miles. The Nissan warranty is for five years / 60,000 miles on the powertrain.

 

Finally, the Sonic is simply not the cheapest over the course of 15 years and 225,000 miles, either. Which car was? As it turns out, the Versa was the best with a light foot and for those who live in mountainous or hilly area, while the Mirage would be the likely winner for those who do a lot of in-town driving over terrain that is mostly flat. In either scenario, both have a financial advantage over the Sonic which translates into approximately $1 a day.

 

Is the Sonic worth it? To me, the answer is an emphatic yes, but keep in mind that there are other vehicles out there, such as the Ford Fiesta and the Mazda 2, that offer similar value thanks to those models being in the final year of their model run. The last year for a model tends to offer the highest level of quality, and the most competitive price in today’s marketplace.

 

So if you are looking to get a long-term keeper instead of a car that only looks good on a financial spreadsheet, broaden your horizons a bit, and shop for a car with the right combination of a slightly higher price and a lower level of popularity. Just because you’re thrifty with your money doesn’t mean you have to drive a bad car.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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J.D. Power’s Top 2014 SUV’s Based on Initial Quality

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS

 

J.D. Power conducts its Initial Quality Study (IQS) each year, surveying thousands of new car, truck, SUV, and van buyers who have owned their vehicle for at least 90 days, asking them about the quality of the vehicle during the initial ownership period. Derived from this research, Power Circle Ratings are consumer-friendly reflections of the information and are used by consumers when they research new vehicles.

 

This Top-Rated 2014 SUVs guide lists those models that receive a Power Circle Rating of 4, 4.5, or 5 out of a possible 5 for initial quality. For a list of the top-rated 2014 crossover SUVs, see the separate guide.

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevy Suburban is a full-size SUV seating up to 9 passengers in 3 rows of seats. In advance of a complete redesignChevrolet discontinued the heavy-duty Suburban 2500 for 2014, and dropped the bigger 6.0-liter V-8 engine, leaving the light-duty Suburban 1500 and a standard 5.3-liter V-8 paired with an automatic transmission and 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive.

 

The 2014 Chevrolet Suburban receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Chevrolet Tahoe

Think of the Chevy Tahoe as a shorter Suburban. It still seats up to 9 people in 3 rows of seats, it just can’t carry as much cargo at the same time. The Tahoe features a 5.3-liter V-8, automatic transmission, and a choice between 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive. For 2015, the Tahoe is redesigned.

 

The 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV that carries up to 8 passengers in 3 rows of seats. Offered in regular- and extended-length body styles, the Expedition is equipped with a 5.4-liter V-8 engine, automatic transmission, and either 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. For 2015, the Expedition is restyled.

The 2014 Ford Expedition receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

 

 

2014 GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon is a full-size SUV able to carry up to 9 people in 3 rows of seats. Regular- and extended-length (Yukon XL) versions are available, as well as luxury-oriented Denali versions with unique styling and equipment. All 2014 Yukons have a V-8 engine, ranging in size from a 5.3-liter to a 6.2-liter, as well as an automatic transmission and a choice of 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive. The Yukon is redesigned for 2015.

The 2014 GMC Yukon receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Lexus GX

The Lexus GX is a midsize SUV that seats up to 7 passengers in 3 rows of seats. It shares a platform with the Toyota 4Runner and is equipped with a 4.6-liter V-8 engine, automatic transmission, and a standard full-time 4-wheel-drive system.

 

The 2014 Lexus GX receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4.5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Porsche Cayenne

The Porsche Cayenne is a midsize 5-passenger SUV designed for optimum performance both on and off the pavement. Engine selections include a V-6, turbo-diesel V-6, V-8, twin-turbocharged V-8, or a gas-electric hybrid powertrain with a supercharged V-6. All feature standard all-wheel drive, and all have an automatic transmission except for the standard Cayenne model, which comes with a manual gearbox.

 

The 2014 Porsche Cayenne receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

 

 

2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a midsize 5-passenger SUV styled to recall the iconic FJ40 models. In its final year on the market, the FJ Cruiser is equipped with a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Choose the optional 4-wheel-drive system and a manual gearbox is also available.

The 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser receives an Initial Quality Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

 

 

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Dodge Challenger SRT 708 HP Most Powerful American Car Ever?

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  FOX NEWS

 

Turns out the Hellcat is a real fire-breather.

 

Dodge has announced that its new supercharged V8 will be rated at an astonishing 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque when it debuts in the 2015 Challenger SRT later this year, making it the most powerful mass produced American car ever.

 

The 6.2-liter Hellcat HEMI engine features an iron block, forged alloy pistons and is fed by a 2,380cc supercharger blowing at 11.8 psi. It will be available with either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission.

 

Not only does the Hellcat put the Challenger SRT at the top of the American muscle car list, besting the 662 hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 by a fair amount, but the monster motor is also the most powerful V8 in the world and the car third among all non-electrified autos sold by major automakers, trailing only the 16-cylinder Bugatti Veyron and V12 Ferrari F12.

 

Oh, and if you’re worried about handing the keys over to your kids or a valet, don’t. At least not as much. The Challenger SRT will come with two sets, one that restricts the engine to 500 hp and another that opens the gates of the Hellcat.

 

No word yet on fuel economy, but don’t expect it to break any records. At least not the good kind.

 

The car plants the flag for the rebooted Dodge brand, which will focus on performance cars in the coming years, while Chrysler gives up its luxury aspirations to build more mainstream vehicles.

 

The Hellcat will be unleashed on showrooms in the third quarter of 2014, and is widely expected to make its way into a 4-door Charger SRT sedan at a later date.

 

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3.8 Million Car Safety Sets Recalled

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   USA TODAY 

 

Nautilus child seat was one of the seats recalled by Graco because the buckle can become difficult or impossible to open.

 

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can be trapped, but is refusing to recall seven other infant seat models, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice.

 

In the seats being recalled, the buckles may not unlatch, making it difficult to remove the child from the seat. That increases the risk of injury in a crash, fire or other emergency when a speedy exit from the vehicle is required.

 

“NHTSA’s investigation will remain open pending its evaluation of the Graco recall and until the Agency’s consideration of the review of the seven remaining seat models is completed,” the agency said in a statement.

 

That means the agency and company will continue to negotiate on whether a recall is warranted for the SnugRide infant seats. NHTSA threatened civil penalties and told the company to remove statements that underplayed the seriousness from public documents.

 

In an e-mailed statement, Graco said it “identified that food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position.”

 

The company is offering an improved replacement harness buckle to affected consumers at no cost.

 

In addition, NHTSA said that last month, it started investigating four models of Evenflo child safety seats, which have a design similar to the recalled Graco seats and may use buckles made by the same manufacturer, AmSafe Commercial Products Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana.

 

Graco also emphasized that the infant seats were not included in the recall, because they are “uniquely designed to detach from their base for quick release if needed.” Those who have difficulty with an infant-seat buckle, however, should contact Graco and can also get a replacement buckle, Graco said.

 

The child seat recall covers 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013.

 

“Graco would like to stress this does not in any way affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain the child,” the company said in the statement.

 

NHTSA says it has at least 80 complaints about the seats. Parents said they had to use excessive force to unlatch the harness buckle. In some cases, the straps had to be cut to free children.

 

Graco said in a letter to NHTSA that it had been monitoring the performance of the buckles since 2009 and had given owners advice on how to use and clean them, and offered replacement buckles.

 

The recalled models include: Cozy Cline; ComfortSport; Classic Ride 50; My Ride 65; My Ride with Safety Surround; My Ride 70; Size4Me 70; Smart Seat; Nautilus; Nautilus Elite; and Argos 70.

 

Child safety advocate Joseph Colella emphasized that the Graco seats should continue to be used.

 

“Since this investigation is not related to crash protection, the affected car seats should still be used until the repair kits are available, but repairs should be made as soon as possible,” said Colella.

 

Consumers can contact Graco toll free at 800-345-4109 or at or consumerservices@gracobaby.com.


 

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